Montserrado County Representative Thomas Fallah has termed as “unrealistic” a recent pronouncement by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, indicating her government’s plan to provide free education for girls and young women.
In her State of the Nation Address delivered to the Legislature on Monday, President Sirleaf announced that her government will embark on a campaign in the next fiscal year to provide financial aid to girls and young women, who are desirous of achieving high school education if they are willing to stay in school.
According to the President, her government had on several occasions, demanded quality education, but the process had suffered a series of setbacks as evidenced by the mass failures of Liberian students in exams administered by the University of Liberia and that of the West African Examination Council (WAEC).
Based on a number of observations in the process, she announced ‘free education’ for girls, but this privilege remains at the primary and secondary levels of education.
In reaction to the President’s address, the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) lawmaker asserted that the President’s projection was “very unrealistic and insincere.”
In a Daily Observer interview, Fallah maintained that most of the growth and infrastructure development captured in the President’s speech proved that those in her office didn’t do well in preparing the Chief Executive’s speech.
“I am an administrator providing education to thousands of students in Liberia, and to make such comment without providing a workable plan of action is being insincere to the Liberian people,” he said.
Regarding the Chief Executive’s announcement that 67 percent of Liberians have access to pipe borne water, the CDC lawmaker strongly differed with Madam Sirleaf, adding; “the President’s address is marred by “falsehood and deception.”
“It is disappointing for the President to announce that 67 percent of the people in Liberia have access to pure, clean and safe drinking water. This is not true; people are still finding it difficult to have access to clean and safe drinking water,” Fallah maintained.
Commenting on government’s plans to celebrate July 26, Independence Day, in Sinoe and Grand Kru counties, and traveling there on a paved road, he termed the pronouncement as another “pure deception to the people of the region.”
He argued: “The same pronouncement was made last year and nothing was done to improve the road condition of those counties. What is government doing now to ensure that the roads of those counties are accessible? Are there any construction works ongoing in this dry season to support the President’s intentions for the 26 celebrations to be hosted in the two counties?” he asked.
“Since the celebration was cancelled in that part of the country last year, what has the government instituted to make that place accessible to all for that purpose?” Fallah again asked.
Meanwhile, the Unity Party-led government has come under sharp criticism for the “complete breakdown” of its Compulsory Free Primary Education program instituted several years back. Political commentators described it as a failed initiative, adding that “another unrealistic campaign is on its way with no positive impact on the lives of many. “